Hu in Spain for last stage of European trip
Updated: 2005-11-14 08:35
MADRID - China's President Hu Jintao has arrived in Spain for the final
leg of a European trip dominated by trade.
Hu was met at Madrid's airport Sunday by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel
Two days of official engagements were beginning on Monday, including meetings
with King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Before Germany, the 62-year-old Chinese leader also spent two days in Britain
from Tuesday, staying at London's Buckingham Palace as the guest of Queen
The centrepiece of the trip has been trade, with Hu overseeing the signing of
business deals worth 1.3 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros) in Britain and 1.5
billion dollars in Germany.
Spain is no less eager than its EU allies to secure increasing amounts of
business with the world's fastest-growing major economy.
Madrid's key goal is to correct a growing imbalance in trade, which saw a
deficit with the Chinese of seven billion dollars (six billion euros), Spain
ranking just 30th in terms of worldwide exporters to China.
Nonetheless, the Spanish are making inroads, with the wind turbine and
aeronautics firm Gamesa having in recent months inked contracts to supply 40
wind turbines to China.
The firm is hoping to corner about one-third of China's renewable energy
Telecoms giant Telefonica has meanwhile taken a stake in China Netcom Group
as it diversifies out of Spain and Latin America.